“WE NEED action now” – these are the words of a Basingstoke county councillor who is calling for improvements to be made at GP surgeries across the town.

Councillor Kim Taylor, who represents Basingstoke Central Division, met with the health and adult social care members at Hampshire County Council this month to raise concerns about access to GP appointments in Basingstoke.

She said many residents have suffered difficulties accessing GP appointments, with some forced to wait up to five weeks at some surgeries.

She added: “Given the continued difficulties faced by residents I have asked for the Integrated Care Board (ICB) to attend the committee and report on the effectiveness of primary care networks in Basingstoke.”

She has also asked the ICB, which is responsible for commissioning GP services in Basingstoke, to report on the position regarding the relocation of Chineham Medical Practice, after plans to move it to Jameson House in Chineham fell through, following two years of talks.

Read more: Multi-million pound GP surgery relocation plans fall through after two years of talks

The ICB has a budget of £3.7 billion (as of December 2022) and is accountable for the NHS budget for Hampshire and Isle of Wight on behalf of the 1.9 million people who live in this area.

It took over the functions previously held by seven clinical commissioning groups in July 2022, along with some of the direct commissioning functions of NHS England.

This includes three acute hospital trusts, two community and mental health trust, one ambulance service, more than 300 pharmacies and 139 GP practices.

Cllr Taylor said: “Many residents have been suffering from difficulties accessing GPs with appointment waits of up to five weeks in some surgeries. It makes no sense that some surgeries are able to offer and acceptable service whilst others have not been able to for many years.

“This state of play needs a formal intervention and action taken by those responsible for the commissioning of these services.

“The commissioners (Integrated Care Board) are not elected and accountable to the public so it is only right they should be asked to account for the situation to Hampshire County Council.”

She added: “We cannot continue year after year to listen to lame excuses. We need action now.”

It is not the first time Cllr Taylor has raised concerns about GP services in Basingstoke. 

More than a year ago, in February 2022, the councillor said the system for seeing a GP in the town "is not working" after being inundated with concerns from residents. 

See also: Councillor calls for improvements to Basingstoke GP services

At the meeting earlier this month, Cllr Taylor also supported a request by Independent councillor Andy Tree for a review of the provision of NHS dentist appointments.

This follows the news that people in Basingstoke are struggling to find an NHS dentist in the town.

A spokesperson for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight ICB said it regularly attends the council's health and adult social care select committee to update members on plans to develop health services. 

They added: "We would be pleased to continue to brief members on matters relating to the commissioning of primary care and the provision of dental services. We look forward to hearing from Hampshire County Council on when would be timely for such an item to come forward."